Because we all have influence on each other, WE ALL HAVE POWER. This IM4U Principle encourages children to embrace their power –their abilities, interests, and personalities— in ways that create positive change. A caring community is one that builds up every member to use their power.

Children in the Pre-K years may not understand power from this perspective. In fact, when they hear the word “power,” they might think of the superpowers of superheroes. In this principle activity you can use the idea of superpowers to introduce the super powers of words like “kindness”, “friendliness,” “listening,” “welcoming,” “happiness,” “joy”, “caring,” and “peace” all of which affect positive change.


Children discuss ways to use power to affect change in the world around us in a positive way.

The social and emotional skills in this unit focus on self-awareness and self-esteem. As a Pre-K teacher, you know that these skills are core curriculum for Pre-K children. Supporting children’s sense of self is a huge part of what you do as a teacher at this stage. In the beginning of the year, you greet children who may not have had any experience with interaction with a large group. As the year progresses you see them begin to define themselves as they become more and more aware of their identity and how to be a group member. That is why the concept of “power” is so important at this age. In these early stages of social and emotional growth, it is essential for children to understand how to share, care, and believe in themselves.

Principle Overview

What does the word “power” mean to you? Some people associate the word “power” with control or authority and even destruction. It is essential when discussing the word “power” that it is seen in the IM4U context as the ability to affect positive change in the world! Exploring the “ripple effect” analogy of WE ALL ARE VALUABLE, students can see there is power in understanding that their abilities, interests, and personality can create positive change. Because we all have an effect on each other, WE ALL HAVE POWER.


Goals and Objectives:

  • Share an idea in a group.
  • Practice taking turns.
  • Identify ways to use power to help others.
  • Create and wear your superpower button using the printable page provided. This will show children your superpower in a fun and engaging way. In addition to or instead of the button, wear a superpower shirt or hat with the name of your superpower on it such as “welcoming,” “kindness,”etc..
  • Children may like to create their own superpower word buttons or even capes to celebrate the Power Word of the Week (See Unit 5 Overview Promoting the Principle).
  • Be sure to help children recognize that speaking up is another way to use our power.
  • If appropriate for your class, extend the conversation to the topic of self-awareness, one of the SEL concepts for this unit. Self-awareness helps an individual tune into their feelings and to the behaviors and feelings of others. Ask: What does it mean to be aware? What does it mean to be self-aware? How can being self-aware help you use your power to make something positive happen?
Being aware of a certain situation or experience and then being able to give language to it and speak it out loud is a powerful life skill. Teaching students to speak up for themselves begins with helping them be independent and competent in their communication. They will then be better equipped to master life’s skills and handle life’s challenges when they use their power of speaking up.

  • When working together as a group, use agreed-upon strategies for speaking up, which will help students communicate better with others. Remind students to use either the following steps or the ones created together from the Speaking Up skill builder.
    1. Use a person’s name.
    2. Look him or her in the eyes.
    3. Use nice words with a big voice.
  • When a child understands what they are feeling and then takes action or makes a choice to address their needs, they are using self-awareness and self-advocacy. Talk about how speaking up is one way to use power to express what you want or need.
  • You might use the Speak Up lyrics to help children better understand the idea of self-advocacy and speaking up. Ask: Do you ever need a snack or a hug or an extra potato chip? Is it hard or easy to speak up when you need help?
Skill Builder
Use these visual resources to enhance the student experience in this unit.

View In Resources

Activity Steps

  • Connector.

    Gather children together for a circle time. Play the Speak Up song or the Speak Up music video as children are walking to the circle.

  • Connector.

    Ask: What comes to mind when you hear the word “power?” Listen to all their answers and ideas. If you wish, write them down where they can see them, and point out their different ideas about what the word “power” means.

  • Connector.

    Explain that when you say “We all have power,” you mean that we all have many ways we can use our power to work together and help ourselves and others. Examples: I can pick up a piece of trash from the ground, I can help a friend who is struggling to tie her shoe, I can watch my baby brother when my dad is fixing dinner, I can help two friends who are arguing, etc..

  • Connector.

    In Step 2, children likely mentioned superheroes or superpowers. Tell children that you have a secret superpower just like the superheroes and your superpower is something that helps everyone. Share your secret superpower word (ie.. KINDNESS) or write it on the board.

  • Connector.

    Encourage children to think about how the power you have chosen can be a superpower that can help everyone. Provide a situation (for example, Sally dropped her cake on the floor at the birthday party and is now crying) and ask them to share their answers of how the superpower might help.

  • Connector.

    Invite children to suggest ways that they can be kind to help someone who might need it. Ask:

    How can we use the power of kindness for our friends?
    How can we be kind to our parents, or animals?

    Write these on the board under the title:
    Our Superpower: Kindness

  • Connector.

    Encourage children to talk about how they feel when they are kind to others. Celebrate the understanding (self-awareness) and good feeling (self-esteem) that comes from using the power of kindness.

  • Connector.

    Invite children to think about what other superpowers they can think of that help something positive to happen? Write down their ideas and if you have a Power Word Of The Week (see unit overview Promoting the Principle) incorporate it into this part of the discussion.

  • Connector.

    As you reflect, challenge the children to use their kindness superpower. Use the word very deliberately throughout the day and week by demonstrating times you noticed a child using the superpower.

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